Spireities old boys return to Proact as Dagenham and Redridge look to upset Chesterfield

Conor Wilkinson scores his second for Chesterfield against Northampton Town.Conor Wilkinson scores his second for Chesterfield against Northampton Town.
Conor Wilkinson scores his second for Chesterfield against Northampton Town.
A former Spireites loanee returns to the Proact on Saturday, hoping to continue his red-hot form as a Dagenham and Redbridge player.

Conor Wilkinson impressed Chesterfield fans in the 2016/17 season, scoring four goals on loan from Millwall before a knee injury disrupted his stay.

Since then he’s signed for Gillingham, but scored just four times in 50 appearances, before being sent out on loan to the Daggers.

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This is the ninth loan stint of the 24-year-old’s career and by far the best, in terms of goalscoring exploits.

He’s hit the net 11 times in 18 National League appearances.

Ned Keating of the Romford Recorder said: “When it comes to players in form, Conor Wilkinson probably fits that description.

“Six goals in his last nine matches and plenty of assists too.

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“A handful for defences, but is far too good to be playing at this level.”

Wilkinson isn’t the only ex Spireite in the Daggers squad.

Defender Nathan Smith (inset), who spent three years at the Proact earlier in his career, joined Dagenham back in October.

He’s made several appearances, with an injury keeping him out for a considerable period, but appears to be back in both fitness and favour with boss Peter Taylor.

Taylor, a former England Under 21 boss, has changed to a more direct style of play recently and it appeared to have helped the Daggers to improve their results.

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Going into their midweek clash with relegation battlers Dover, Dagenham had lost just one of their last five National League outings.

But they then lost 3-1 to Dover, compounding disappointing results against strugglers Maidenhead United, with whom they drew 1-1, and Havant and Waterlooville, to whom they lost 3-0.

This weekend Taylor will be without suspended defender Alex McQueen, who was sent off against Havant, while another defender, Luke Pennell, misses out with a neck injury.

Other than that, the Daggers’ squad has a clean bill of health, presuming there were no knocks picked up in the Dover game.

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The last time the sides met, the Spireites led as early as the 13th minute through Curtis Weston, but Luke Chike Kandi popped up 11 minutes from time to secure a draw.

That result formed part of Chesterfield’s remarkable 19-game winless streak in the National League, while Kandi subsequently went 18 matches without scoring again.

He did eventually find the net in consecutive games, against Maidenhead and Bromley earlier this month, however.

Likely line-up (3-5-2): Justham; Onariase, Clark, Smith; Nunn, Robinson, Loft, Gordon; Munns; Wilkinson, Balanta.